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Mohammad Amir Retires From Test Cricket to Focus on Limited-overs Formats

Cricketnext Staff |July 26, 2019, 5:00 PM IST
Mohammad Amir Retires From Test Cricket to Focus on Limited-overs Formats

Pakistan pace spearhead Mohammad Amir has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect but will continue to play in the white-ball formats, PCB announced via a press release.

In what can be termed as a troubled red-ball career, Amir turned out for Pakistan in 36 Tests, taking 119 wickets at an average of 30.47. His best bowling returns - 6 for 44 – were against the West Indies in Kingston in April 2017.

Amir, 27, last played a Test back in January 2019 but has been off the boil in the longest format of the game. He was dropped a number of times and has played just six Tests in the last two years.

“It has been an honour to represent Pakistan in the pinnacle and traditional format of the game. I, however, have decided to move away from the longer version so I can concentrate on white ball cricket," Amir said in a statement.

"Playing for Pakistan remains my ultimate desire and objective, and I will try my best to be in the best physical shape to contribute in the team’s upcoming challenges, including next year’s ICC T20 World Cup.

“It has not been an easy decision to make and I have been thinking about this for some time. But with the ICC World Test Championship commencing shortly, and Pakistan boasting some very exciting young fast bowlers, it is appropriate that I call on my time in Test cricket so that the selectors can plan accordingly."

Amir made his Test debut in July 2009 against Sri Lanka as a 17-year-old and immediately showed his skills returning six wickets in the game. His ability to move the ball late at pace made him an instant star and one for the future. Over the course of the next year, he made a name for himself on tours to Australia, New Zealand and England, becoming the youngest bowler in the history of Test cricket to pick 50 wickets.

By 2010, Amir had become the hottest pace bowling prospect in world cricket but within months his world came crashing down following charges of spot fixing. Amir, 18 at the time, was deemed to have deliberately bowled pre-planned no balls during a Test match against England at Lord's at the behest of his captain Salman Butt and fellow pacer Mohammad Asif.

He was banned from all forms of the game for five years and sentenced to prison for six months by a Southwark Crown Court. After his release, Amir co-operated with the ICC anti-corruption unit and slowly made his way back into the international scene after his ban ended.

While he was still a force to reckon with in the shorter formats of the game, Amir lost his mojo in the Test circuit. The swing and late movement that had made him such a huge name before the ban went missing and he was dropped from the Test side multiple times. Since his return to Test cricket in July 2016, Amir played 22 Tests, taking 68 wickets at an under-par 31.51.

“I want to thank all my team-mates as well the opponents in red ball cricket. It has been a privilege to play with and against them. I am sure our paths will continue to cross in limited-overs cricket as all of us play and compete with the same vigour and determination.

“I also want to thank the PCB for providing me the opportunity to don the golden star on my chest. And, I am grateful to my coaches who have groomed me at various stages of my career.”

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